We are excited to introduce you to our very first tgin Naturalista of the Month, Alexis! Read her inspirational journey to natural and check out her beautiful curls. She is a true #tginaturalista!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi all! My name is Alexis and I am honored to be tgin’s Naturalista of the month! To share a little about myself, I am originally from Ohio, but currently living in Northern Virginia. I am a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., by way of Kent State University. I am an Elementary School teacher by day and a blogger/social media influencer by night. I have worked with brands such as Aussie, Taliah Waajid, Envii Hair Care, Fantasia Hair Care, Poppy Apparel, and Hero’s Wardrobe. I also paint and hand make wigs, as well as do faux locs, and twist styles! I enjoy sports, spending time outdoors, traveling and being among friends and family. Being someone who thrives from helping others, becoming natural and inserting myself into the social media influencer world has been one of the best decisions I have made.
What is your favorite tgin product and how do you use it?
I recently started using tgin products and they have become a staple for my hair care regimen. Maintaining a wash day routine is crucial for my hair as it is, thick, dry and mixed textured. tgin’s Honey Miracle Hair Mask has worked wonders for my hair! I use the Honey Miracle Hair Mask twice a week with my wash routine. I apply it after my shampoo and conditioner and leave it on for 2-4 hours. When applying the product, my hair instantly becomes easier to detangle, my definition(s) starts to form, my hair softens and manageability is made easier. The fragrance of the product is extremely pleasant and the consistency of the product does not leave my hair feeling weighed down, or ‘greasy’. It truly hydrates and locks in moisture, repairs damaged hair and leaves the hair shinier, softer and more manageable. I love placing my hair in a plastic cap under my attachable hooded dryer for deeper penetration of the moisture!
I love following up my deep conditioner rinse with a leave in conditioner, while my hair is still wet. tgin’s Green Tea Super Moist Leave in Conditioner gets the job done, every time! Having thick, dry hair, my hair thrives from products that are water based and hydrating. This leave-in has a cream-gel consistency that instantly softens the hair texture, but also moisturizes and elongates due to its thicker consistency. It smells like a tropical paradise and I find it to work better for my hair by adding a little water to it to allow it to move through my hair more consistently and evenly. For twist/braid-outs, I follow the leave in with tgin Twist & Define Cream. If you haven’t tried tgin yet, I highly recommend that you do!
How long have you been natural and what advice would you give to others transitioning to natural hair?
I big chopped 5 years ago and had maybe, an inch of hair left. It has been a journey. The thought of having a big chop cut initially gave me anxiety. I sat at my computer and watched an endless amount of big chop videos on YouTube and thought, “absolutely not! I’ll look like a little boy.” The more videos I watched, the less discouraged I became. I was also heavily influenced by a film titled “400 Years without a Comb” (a must see!).
Transitioning, for me, was not ideal. Maintaining a short haircut (I had a pixie at the time) with two textures was borderline impossible which led my transition period to only last a month and a half. I grew tired of constantly doing perm rod sets multiple times a week to blend the textures and impulsively scheduled a big chop at Natural Roots Styling Studio located in Cleveland, OH.
When I arrived, the stylist said “so tell me about your hair” (I didn’t know about hair types, textures, etc. I had been so used to getting a perm and calling it a day.) I told her “I’m not sure what exactly you mean, but I came in for a big chop” She placed her hands in my hair, with her fingers directly at my roots and said “you do know your big chop will be drastic, right? Are you sure?” —- “Yes!”… And there it began.
When my stylist finished and I looked in the mirror, I was shocked and at a loss of words. I just started laughing. I really didn’t know how to react. It was the shortest my hair had ever been, and I didn’t know how to feel. I wasn’t uncomfortable, but not adjusted yet. Not confident yet. Not “me” yet. As I was trying to understand my emotions looking in the mirror, a sense of liberation overcame me and it was honestly indescribable. I smiled, picked up my things and walked out of the salon with my head held so high.
I shared my big chop story for those who are indecisive, not feeling confident or just may be unsure about starting your natural hair journey. My best advice is to understand why you are considering the transition. Are you transitioning to be natural to join the “wave”, or for healthier hair?
The health of your hair should be at the forefront of your journey. Take the time to really learn your hair and find out what YOUR hair needs. Do not get caught up in thinking that your hair will react the same as your favorite social media influencer’s. Discover what keeps your hair moisturized, strong, healthy and manageable, and do not give up! You will have days when your hair does not turn out how you would like, or you may have weeks where it is not doing anything that you expect it to. Do not turn to heat or perms as a quick fix. Learn to protective style (braids, buns, twists, etc) until you have transitioned to a length that you are comfortable with chopping.
Once you have fully transitioned, be confident with your decision. After all, you are doing it for a healthier head of hair and you’ll be in touch with your roots, literally. Do not let those around you or social media discourage you from embarking on a healthy hair journey. At the end of the day it is just hair. If you rock your natural hair with confidence, others will have no choice but to support you. If your texture grows in a way that you didn’t expect, embrace it and nourish it! Stay away from excessive heat, coloring and weaves for extended periods of time.
GOOD LUCK ON YOUR NATURAL JOURNEY. IT IS WORTH IT!
What is one thing you can’t live without?
I absolutely cannot live without my family and friends. They are my support system and keep me grounded, motivated and inspired.